Oregon’s illegal drug users rewarded as chronic pain patients suffer – by Dr. Darryl George – Jan 2019
This article points out that the supposed targets of the “war on drugs” are actually rewarded while pain patients are punished.
As a general practitioner, I have seen the “good,” the “bad,” and the “ugly” of the “opioid epidemic.”
The “good” happens when patients are stabilized on their analgesics and able to return to work or volunteer and regain a better quality of life.
Clinically proven questionnaires are available and I use them in my practice to pre-screen and continually rescreen all patients, which helps significantly with identifying and addressing any areas of concern.
I review Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data every morning on every patient that I will see that day.
The “bad” happens when patients are forcibly tapered off their medications, leaving them with no way to adequately address their pain. Only recently have some insurers started providing more physical therapy, chiropractic, and other treatments, but unfortunately with limitations to the number of visits or total overall costs, they fall short of even a complimentary treatment
I have seen providers misread drug tests and dismiss patients with rapid or no tapers. They fail to do confirmation testing to ensure the office test is accurate. They look for any excuse to fire the patient.
Many of these patients will become unable to work, become less functional at home, and personal relationships become strained. Some patients end up divorced or contemplate suicide when their pain is uncontrolled
The “ugly” happens when federal and state agencies blame the opioid epidemic on providers and patients.
They are easy targets because the provider has an office and the patient uses a pharmacy. They have tried unsuccessfully for decades to arrest the street dealers and buyers who hide in the shadows.
This is exactly what I’ve been saying: The DEA are cowards, who would much rather sit at a desk scanning databases then be out in the streets facing people with weapons. We’re just easy targets for a cowardly and ineffective agency.
The government’s own data shows that the vast majority of “opioid” deaths occur as a combination of illicit drugs that were never prescribed to the deceased. But patients who have been using their drugs properly are attacked and degraded
The illegal drug users get rewarded.
They are not dismissed or tapered, and continue getting their Methadone or Suboxone medications from treatment centers even when they fail their drug tests.
Many of today’s opioid opponents were once prescribers themselves making a living off patients’ pain. Then public opinion shifted. So those prescribers changed their tune. They went where the government’s money flows.
That’s how sharks congregate.
Dr. Darryl George is with Affordable Integrative Medicine in Roseburg, Oregon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.